PATHER PANCHALI

Fall 2012: Issue 92

A. Van Jordan

                                       (Satyajit Ray, 1955)

 

When a child dies before you do, remember:

forget this pain. But keep her laugh, a totem to remember.

 

It’s spring. The rain pelts the forest leaves like tears falling

down a mother’s face; she tries not to remember.

 

In the Jatra, the brother protects his sister from the cold.

The actors on stage sing their story, so you’ll remember.

 

Why steal a banana or jackfruit? Even the Devil’s Apple

      couldn’t

cure her fever. Fruit belongs to all, but too few remember.

 

In Kaash fields, we ran for the train, laughing, out of breath,

Kans grass whipping our ankles . . . Do you remember?

 

The path winds long, and the path to love often brings strain;

endurance calls for more than shoes for your journey, do

      remember.

Sustained on the road, prepared for any storm ahead,

 

the path is a line in your palm, little Apu. Remember.